Jan. 2nd, 2017

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Last year I did a very thorough job tracking my word counts. This year I gave up tracking sometime around my first intercontinental move (so, early May). Based on Scrivener estimates I wrote about 150,000 words of fanfic in 2016. Which I’ve decided to be proud of, especially given…everything.

A few of my favorites:

The line between hunger and anger (Hunger Games, gen)
The second in what will be probably a 3-part series about a handful of ordinary people, mostly in District Nine, who help make the rebellion happen. This has been a knock down drag out fight to finish, but I am pleased with how it’s turned out. Part 3 will get written in 2017, come hell or high water, if for no other reason than that I need more stories about ordinary people changing the world.

The Breakout Job (Leverage, gen)
Parker, Eliot, and Hardison break some kids out of an abusive “camp for troubled youth.” I wrote this for a Christmas exchange and managed to finish on time despite November being the worst month (election, a LOT of brain-doctors, intercontinental move #2, work…). And it gave me an excuse to google “can you set a building on fire remotely” (yes, you can).

You do it better, Living is harder, and Plant assembly procedures
(Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey)
I am cheating and listing all of these together, because they are short and I couldn’t pick just one. You do it better is Rey backstory, Living is harder is about culture shock, and Plant assembly procedures is about learning how to make food and also about Chewbacca. Rey is quite possibly the character in fiction I most identify with. Definitely in pop culture.

Still 22 days left till the end of the world and After the storm (Hunger Games, Johanna Mason, mind the warnings)
I wrote a lot of Johanna fic this year, and these are probably my favorites. There’s a lot of ugly shit in this whole series, and some of it I was really hesitant to post, but it was all really cathartic to write. Hopefully it was good for someone to read.

Other people’s favorites in 2016, from my AO3 stats:

Top 5 by hits:
As long as I can see your face (Hunger Games, Finnick/Annie)
Finally breathe (Hunger Games, Finnick and Johanna) (posted 12/2015)
What doesn’t kill you (Hunger Games, Johanna)
Swim out past the breakers (Hunger Games, pre-Finnick/Annie)
Still 22 days left till the end of the world (Hunger Games, Finnick and Johanna)

Top 5 by kudos:
Living is harder (SW: TFA, Rey)
As long as I can see your face
Clean (Hunger Games, Johanna and Annie)
Finally breathe
Still 22 days left till the end of the world

I'm still not sure what I want to say about 2016 in general. But these are some of the good bits. Here’s hoping there’s more to come in the next year.
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map of panem

I've written about Panem geography and logistics before (geography in general, D9, D6), but now I need to think about things like where the rail lines are and which ones are good sabotage targets and the MS Paint sketch maps were no longer cutting it.

The cool thing about North America is that there's a ton of geographic data available for free online. Which meant that the best thing to do (as someone who is not very artistic) was to go from MS Paint to QGIS. Which is to say, COMPLETE OVERKILL. You could actually use this map for navigation, if the things on it existed.

What's here that's new:

The blue lines are the coastline after a 50m sea level rise. The number's fairly arbitrary, this just gave me something interestingly different, while a 100m rise got into unrecognizable territory. (Climate change is kinda scary, folks).

The red lines are railroad lines. I started with a map of current rail lines, followed them where possible especially in mountainous areas, and tried to make sure sensible things were connected. The rail system is also constructed in typical Panem fashion for Capitol control first and efficiency second. So for example, there is no direct connection between D8 and D9 or D3 and D4, even though there logically would be, because it's easier to control travel when it goes through fewer junction points.

Cities are based loosely on current cities: D9's capital city is modern-day St. Louis, D8 is Minneapolis-St. Paul. D13 is in Ontario, near a graphite mine there. D5 is based on oil and gas locations in the Dakotas, Alberta, and Montana, plus opportunities for hydropower and geothermal (we know there's hydro from the amazing dam scene in the MJ1 movie--I take or leave movie canon in general but damn, that scene stays). Other than that, I've talked about why 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11 are where they are already (in the links above).

Obviously this is overthinking everything. But whatever, I enjoy it.


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